Author Interview – Rita Lee Chapman #Crime #Mystery

 

Welcome to Crime author, Rita Lee Chapman.

Please tell us about your publications/work.

There are four books in the Anna Davies Mystery Series: Missing in Egypt, Missing at Sea, Missing in London and Missing in France.

I have also written two crime mysteries – Dangerous Associations and The Poinciana Tree.  I have also written a book for horse lovers, from teenagers upwards, Winston – A Horse’s Tale. 

I decided the beautiful Poinciana tree would make a great cover for a book, so I started with the cover and then built a story around it.

Most of my books also come in large print editions.

Do you think the written word (or art) bring power and freedom?                 

I believe learning to read and write empowers everyone and should be a basic human right. 

What piece of advice do you wish you’d had when you started your publishing journey?

I was actually given this advice by a wise, local bookshop owner.  “Don’t expect to become rich from your writing.”  Perhaps I should have taken more notice!

If you could have dinner with any literary character or author who would you choose, and what would you eat.

I think I would choose Kate Moreton, a local Australian author, who writes so beautifully.  I would like to have oysters natural for entrée, followed by roast pork with crackling and real apple sauce accompanied by roast vegetables, finishing with a decadent chocolate dessert.  There would, of course, be French champagne to drink.

How much research do you do for your work? What’s the wildest subject you’ve looked at?

For some of my books, the research has already been done, i.e. I set the book in a country I have visited.  Other books require quite a lot of research.  For The Poinciana Tree I researched in formation on, and read books based in, the Sudan.  The wildest research I have done was on rohypnol, the rape drug, for Missing at Sea.

What’s the best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing?

Write more books!

What is your writing space like?

Quiet!  I’m lucky to have a study, lined with book shelves.

Tell us about your latest piece?

Missing in France is Book #4 in the Anna Davies Mystery Series.  Like the others, it is a stand-alone book, although I have recently combined the four books into the Anna Davies Mystery Series e-book.  Here is the blurb:

When Mike accepts a two-year contract in France, Anna is delighted at the prospect of spending time in Paris and Marseille.  She doesn’t anticipate being drawn into yet another mystery, one which puts her own life in danger. 

What are your views on authors offering free books? Do you believe, as some do, that it demeans an author and his or her work?

I don’t offer books for free.  I believe your time and energy deserve at least a small payment.  I also think a lot of free books are downloaded and never read, because that reader has downloaded so many free books, with the best of intentions but lack of time to read them.

Sort these into order of importance:

Good plot

Great characters

Technically perfect

Awesome world-building

With the influx of indie authors do you think this is the future of storytelling?

I think there is room for both indie authors and traditionally published authors.  It is the writing that counts, not the form of publishing.

Is this the age of the e-book? Are bricks and mortar bookshops in decline?

I think online shopping has affected all shops, especially during Covid.  There is no doubt that bookshops have declined in number and many are much smaller in size, which mean they are limited in the number of books they can display.  I am confident, however, that there will always be a call for bookshops.

What did you want to be when you ‘grew up’?

I wanted to be a show jumper, but as I lived in London, this was never likely to happen.  I was fortunate to go riding at a local riding school once a week and when I moved to Australia I rode all week-end for many years.  The show jumping bit never happened though.

Links to book

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08WZ4KCN3/

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08X69SNJZ

Large Print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08X63F2BN

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08X63F2BN/

Bio

Rita Lee Chapman was born in London and moved to Australia in her early twenties.  It was only when she retired that she wrote her first novel, Missing in Egypt, the first in the Anna Davies Mystery series.  This was followed by Missing at Sea, Missing in London and Missing in France. All can be enjoyed as stand-alone books.

Winston – A Horse’s Tale was written for horse lovers like herself.  “It was the book I had to write.”

Dangerous Associations and The Poinciana Tree are crime mysteries. 

When she’s not writing or reading, Rita enjoys playing tennis, walking and entertaining.

Website: www.ritaleechapman.com

 

 

 

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Sorry Can’t Save You Now – Tour – #Mystery/Suspense

Sorry Can’t Save You
by Willow Rose
Genre: Mystery, Suspense
From Multi-Million-Copy Bestselling author Willow Rose comes an outstanding stand alone Mystery that will keep you guessing till the end!
What if you thought your husband was a murderer?
The man you loved, the man who gave you two beautiful children and a perfect life.
What if no one believed you?
Laurie Davis is the mother of two children, struggling to keep her family together since her husband, Ryan, went to war and came back changed. His PTSD is evident.
He wakes up at night, screaming in fear; he can’t stand loud noises or anyone sneaking up on him.
He even gets aggressive toward Laurie and the children. It has gotten so bad that he can no longer stay under the same roof as his family.
When a woman from his squadron is found murdered, Laurie discovers something that makes her suspect Ryan, her own husband.
But what do you do when no one believes a decorated war hero could also be a murderer?
What if you don’t want to believe it yourself?
As more people from the squadron turn up dead, by apparent suicides, Laurie digs deeper into the case.
She is risking her own life by putting it all on the line in a race against time to avoid becoming the killer’s next victim.
Buy SORRY CAN’T SAVE YOU today and you’ll miss sleep, skip chores and have no time for family or friends.
Willow Rose is a multi-million-copy best-selling Author and an Amazon ALL-star Author of more than 80 novels.
Several of her books have reached the top 10 of ALL books on Amazon in the US, UK, and Canada. She has sold more than six million books all over the world.
She writes Mystery, Thriller, Paranormal, Romance, Suspense, Horror, Supernatural thrillers, and Fantasy.
Willow’s books are fast-paced, nail-biting pageturners with twists you won’t see coming. That’s why her fans call her The Queen of Plot-Twists.
Willow lives on Florida’s Space Coast with her husband and two daughters. When she is not writing or reading, you will find her surfing and watching the dolphins play in the waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
$50 Amazon


Dangerous Desires – Blog Tour and Giveaway – Romantic Suspense

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Dangerous Desires
by Dawn Altieri
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Three years after Emma Sloane’s wealthy fiance’s mysterious death, she’s finally ready to move on and pursue her own dreams. But her plans are derailed when she’s attacked outside her New York City apartment in what she thinks is a random violent incident. Then other women who look just like her start turning up dead…
Homicide Detective Jake Quinn is haunted by the one case he couldn’t solve. When he’s put in charge of a new high-profile murder case, he interviews a victim who escaped a similar attack—and to his shock it’s Emma, the former fiancée of his unsolved murder victim.
Neither expects the sparks of attraction between them. But the killer escalates, clearly targeting Emma, and Jake’s job is on the line. Can he solve this case before it’s too late for both of them?
A lifelong resident of northern New Jersey, Dawn Altieri has been scribbling stories practically since birth. After reaching a milestone birthday (she won’t say which one), she figured it was about time she took a shot at writing professionally.
With an overactive imagination and a slightly twisted mind, she enjoys reading dark and dangerous tales almost as much as writing them. When she’s not curled up on the sofa with her laptop, her latest story, a box of chocolates and a cup of tea (or a glass of wine, depending on the time of day), she can be found volunteering in the world of animal rescue. To keep a roof over her head, she works in the printing industry as a graphic production artist. She shares her home with her husband and daughter, and a menagerie of rescued fur-babies.
$10 Amazon Gift Card
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

 

Release Blitz – Stateless – Meli Raine #RomanticSuspense

Out Now—Stateless (Stateless Series, Book 1) by Meli Raine (@meliraineauthor) #romanticsuspense #romance #suspense #newrelease

Release date: October 15, 2019

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Book Blurb:

When you’re born without a trace, no one knows you’re a weapon.

I lie for her.

I hunt for her.

I kill for her.

And above all, I betray my mission for her.

She doesn’t know why. She doesn’t care why.

I do.

Treason comes in many forms.

Love is one of them.

Our training taught me to be a sociopath. A machine. A pawn. Nothing more than a tool for a larger goal, without attachments or feelings.

Our teachers forgot one important detail:

Pawns shouldn’t have hearts.

Yet we do.

It turns out our emotions are our greatest weapon.

And I know exactly where mine are aimed.

The Stateless Series also includes:

Traceless (releasing 11.19.19)

Fateless (release date TBA)

Links:

 

Amazon (everywhere): https://geni.us/statelessAMZ

Barnes&Noble: https://geni.us/statelessBN

Kobo: https://geni.us/statelessKobo

Apple Books: https://geni.us/statelessApple

Google Play: https://geni.us/statelessgoogle

 

Audiobook narrated by Joe Arden and Andi Arndt!

Audible (preorder now!): https://geni.us/statelessAudible

Amazon audio (preorder now!): https://geni.us/statelessAMZaud

Goodreads:  http://bit.ly/2mSDQ8B

BookBub:  http://bit.ly/2ozxs6w

Website:  http://bit.ly/2mSPzUE

 

Excerpts & Teasers (PLEASE CHOOSE ONLY ONE TO USE WITH YOUR POST)

#1

 

I do not sleep.

Kina does, though, and that matters more.

Sleep is a luxury when we are in Woods. She knows it. I know I should catch an hour or two, especially with my five-night punishment and determination to go for six, but I can’t.

What did I just say?

What did I just do?

Kina has the dreams. I have the dreams. I’ve never told anyone else anything that wasn’t one hundred percent part of The Mission.

To confess emotion, to confess my own dreams that do not fit The Mission, could be punished by death.

Or worse. What if I really am so weak? Emotion is shameful. It’s disgusting.

We fail every time we feel.

She knows this. I know this.

And yet we both spoke. Shared.

Confided.

Why?

What does this mean?

With her sleeping beside me, I let my mind wander, giving in to the luxury of imagination. For years, the dream has been the same.

A burning wood fire.

A screaming boy.

A woman with long hair being shot.

A man with a shaved head and blue eyes like mine beaten by another man with a log.

And me with my bow and arrow. My hands are tiny, the skin around the knuckles dimpled. I’ve worked with the four-year-olds here at the compound. I know what young hands look like.

Why would I dream like that?

StatelessFBAD1

 

Author Bio:

 

Meli Raine writes romantic suspense with hot bikers, intense undercover DEA agents, bad boys turned good, and Special Ops heroes — and the women who love them. Meli rode her first motorcycle when she was five years old, but she played in the ocean long before that. She lives in New England with her family.

Stateless_Ebook

Social Media Links:

 

Website:  http://meliraine.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/meliraine

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/meliraineauthor

Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/meli-raine

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13536295.Meli_Raine

Newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/beV0gf

 

Reviews and Endorsements for Meli Raine Books:

“The first book in the False trilogy is a psychological thriller worthy of Hitchcock, keeping you guessing until the very end.” — Apple Books Editors

“…intrigue and dark humor on display in this thriller…”

While the immediate—and more compelling—tension in Raine’s (A Shameless Little Bet, 2018, etc.) heart-pumping series opener comes from Lily’s constant proximity to her would-be killer, the action takes place against a backdrop of secret government scandals. The “screwed-up D.C.-insider scandal,” as it is clumsily summarized early on, is pleasingly twisty…

Fortunately, Lily’s voice is captivating, wry, and tough enough to sell this thriller. The novel ends with a cliffhanger that startles, if only because readers will have become so attached to Lily.

— Kirkus Reviews

“Fresh, riveting, and thrumming with emotion and romantic suspense, False Memory is absolutely unputdownable. You need this book!” – New York Times bestselling author Meghan March

“I accidentally lost a day to this trilogy! It is unputdownable. Apparently I’m on a dark-and-twisty binge, and this book is addictive.” – USA Today bestselling author Sarina Bowen (review for Harmless series)

 

Release blitz organized by Writer Marketing Services.

The Secret of Blossom Rise – A Ghost Story

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The Secret of Blossom Rise: A Ghost Story:

 When a young nurse accepts a job at a former military hospital she unearths a family secret and finds the spectral occupants a little too familiar.

A short ghost story.

This will be appearing soon in Here Be Ghosts Bundle.

 

Universal Link

Amazon UK

https://amzn.to/2MUEeim

Amazon.com

https://amzn.to/2wPsVOt

 

Dirty Dozen Character Interview – Kate Williams – Chief of Police – Mystery

CHARACTER NAME: Kate Williams, Chief of Police of Mendenhall, Manitoba

  • Tell us a little about yourself.

Let’s see. I’m a career police officer, over 30 years now, and I’ve served in big cities all across Canada. Now I’m the chief of police in Mendenhall, Manitoba, population 16,514, and to my surprise, I love it. I’m 54, 5’3” and usually a little rounder than I like. Lately, however, I’ve been looking a little gaunt, but can you blame me, after everything that’s happened?

  • Tell us why you’re embarking on this adventure?

I took the job of Chief of Police of Mendenhall two years ago, when the politics of the job in Toronto got to be too much. For some reason, I had thought policing in a small town would ease me nicely into retirement. So far, I’ve been shot, attacked by a madwoman, had my car destroyed by a sniper, been freaked out by a long-dead woman, and now I have to deal with bull semen and arsonists. And office politics? I had to get shot before my detachment finally pulled together behind me. The big city was never like this.

  • Do you have a moral code? If so what might it be

Well, of course I have a moral code. Every good police officer has one. Mine is simple: Do the right thing, for the right reason.

  • Who is your greatest friend?

Huh. I never thought of that. I’m a bit of a loner and don’t make friends easily. I have friends, of course. Well, maybe they’re friendly acquaintances. The people I’m closest to are my colleagues, especially my deputy chief, Rob McKell. Which is surprising, really, when you consider that he was supposed to be a shoo-in for the job of chief of police and I swooped in from “outside” to take it from him.

  • Who is your greatest enemy?

I don’t have any personal enemies. Or, if I do, they’ve never identified themselves as such. There are people I don’t like, of course, but I avoid them. On the professional front, well, that’s a different story. You can’t be a police officer—a good one—without making enemies of the people you arrest. For me, it’s rarely personal. For them, it’s very personal.

  • How do you define ‘heroism’?

Doing what needs to be done even when you’re afraid or could get hurt.

  • Tell us about your family?

How much time do you have…?

My dad’s been dead for 15 years but Mom’s still hale and hearty, in spite of the accident that almost killed her last year. At 78, she’s met someone and is planning to move in with him. Took me a bit to get used to that idea, let me tell you. I have a brother, Charlie, who lives in the Maritimes. Like me, he never married. Then there’s Rose, my sister. She’s a few years younger than me, high strung, and every once in a while, a serious pain in the ass. She’s married to John, a university professor and a peach of a man with the patience of a saint. They have two kids: Sean, who’s travelling in Europe right now, and Amanda, who is the apple of my eye and who—to my joy and her mother’s outrage—has moved to Mendenhall.

  • What is your greatest skill/asset

Who the heck knows? I think it’s my stubbornness, but my family and colleagues would argue that’s a failing.

  • What is your greatest weakness (we won’t tell).

Kids. I’m deeply uncomfortable around kids. The younger they are, the worse it is. They look at me as if I’m some kind of alien. May have something to do with the way I talk to them. ::sigh::

  • How would you describe yourself?

I’m a police officer. A good one.

  • How do you think others see you?

First, they see the woman, even when I’m in uniform. Almost without exception they are surprised that I am the chief of police. Then they accept and we move on. Mostly.

  • What is your greatest fear?

That I’ll let another child killer go.

Books in which this character appears:

Kate features in the Mendenhall Mystery series, along with DC Rob McKell, Constable Marco Trepalli and Kate’s niece, Amanda Coburn. The series consists of: The Shoeless Kid, The Tuxedoed Man, The Weeping Woman, The Untethered Woman and The Forsaken Man.

 

Links, short author bio…

Marcelle Dubé grew up near Montreal. After trying out a number of different provinces—not to mention Belgium—she settled in the Yukon, where people still outnumber carnivores, but not by much. Her short fiction has appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, and her novels have been published by Carina Press and Falcon Ridge Publishing. Her best-known work is the Mendenhall Mystery series, featuring Chief of Police Kate Williams, “a heroine for our times,” as one reviewer named her.

 

Dubé writes mystery, science fiction and fantasy fiction. Her work is available as print and e-books.

 

Web: www.marcelledube.com

Twitter: @MarcelleDube

Facebook: www.facebook.com/marcelle.dube.3

Remembering Warriors Bundle

I am delighted to announce the next Bundle! And this one is for charity:)

Remembering Warriors Bundle

In commemoration of the World War One Centenary

COMING JANUARY 1st 2018

Now on Pre-Order

 

One hundred years ago, in 1918, the Great War ended after four terrible years. Never had the world seen such a conflict. All touched by its scythe hoped we would never be thusly reaped again. Their hopes were but desperate dreams. Since that first armistice, there have been many more battles, and thousands have given their lives or their health to preserve freedom and escape from tyranny.

A hundred years after the first armistice we still remember and honour those brave souls. But still, the soldiers fall, for the War to End All Wars did not.

10% of the royalties from the Remembering Warriors bundle will go to the http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/ plus another 10% to https://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/ two charities that support wounded and ex-service personnel and their families, in commemoration of the World War I centenary.

Bundle Rabbit https://bundlerabbit.com/b/remembering-warriors

Kobo http://bit.ly/2k26wGv

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2BGnSQB

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2AdOEmT

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2zWnKMt

I books http://apple.co/2BFldqf

Book #1:

Comrades in Arms by Kevin J Anderson https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/comrades-arms

Book #2:

Outside the Walls by A.L. Butcher and Diana L. Wicker https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/outside-walls

Book #3:

Norman Blood by Barbara G. Tarn https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/norman-blood

Book #4:

The Rise of a Warrior by Harvey Stanbrough https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/rise-warrior

Book #5:

Total War by Russ Crossley https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/total-war

Book #6:

Resonant Bronze by J.M, Ney-Grimm https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/resonant-bronze

Book #7:

Siren by Blaze Ward https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/siren

 Book #8:

The Museum of Modern Warfare by Kristine Kathryn Rusch https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/museum-modern-warfare

Book #9:

Nothing for Nothing by Harvey Stanbrough https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/nothing-for-nothing

Book #10:

The Rescue by Blaze Ward https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/nothing-for-nothing

Book #11:

Soldier, Storyteller by Linda Maye Adams https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/soldier-storyteller

Book #12:

Heroes of Old by Russ Crossley https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/heroes-old

Book #13:

With a Broken Sword by Stefon Mears https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/with-broken-sword

 

Warriors boxset.png

Dirty Dozen Author Interview – Marcelle Dube – Mystery – Winter Warmer Bundle

Author name: Marcelle Dubé / The Tuxedoed Man

Winter Warmer Cover Fan

*Please tell us about your publications.  I’ve written and published many short stories, much to my surprise. I always thought of myself as primarily a novelist, but in recent years, I’ve written more and more short stories, sometimes at the request of a publisher or to meet a thematic need, but more often because an idea got caught in my head and wouldn’t shake loose until I wrote it down.

My novels range from fantasy to mystery to modern gothic to “women’s thrillers.” I find that no matter the flavour of the novel, most of my stories end up with a mystery at their heart. For instance, Backli’s Ford features an alien species trying to fit in on earth, but really the story is a murder mystery at the heart of a greater conspiracy. Then the Mendenhall Mysteries (including The Tuxedoed Man) are straightforward mysteries

Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter’? Definitely a pantser. I’ve tried many techniques for writing novels and learned that plotting is not for me. I’ve written beautiful plot outlines and never wrote the novels because I didn’t see the point. I’d already written the story. As a pantser, I never really know what’s going to happen next, and that keeps me on my toes. Of course, it also means a lot of backtracking to take a different path.

What are your views on authors commenting on reviews? Don’t do it. Step away from the keyboard. Don’t freak out the reviewers. They’re entitled to their opinions, whether they love your story, or hate it.

How do you deal with bad reviews? ::big sigh::  Every time I see a bad review, I have to go find my big girl panties and put them on. Then I get over it.

Sort these into order of importance:

  1. Great characters

Character is all. Period.

  1. Good plot

A close second to great characters. You need great characters, in a good story.

  1. Awesome world-building

Setting matters. Your reader has to be able to see, smell and hear the setting, whether it’s a house in a Canadian suburb or a generation ship heading for a new planet.

  1. Technically perfect:

Well, what the heck is that? I’ve never seen it and doubt I’ll ever achieve it. As long as I write a good story that resonates with my readers, I’m happy.

How much research do you do for your work? What’s the wildest subject you’ve looked at? I don’t really like to research but I am driven by insecurity. When I wrote Ghosts of Morocco, I did a *ton* of research. I’d never been there, was unfamiliar with the geography, politics, culture, languages… I have no idea why I set half the story there, but that’s where it had to be, so I researched.

The wildest subject I’ve looked at? To date, artificial bovine insemination. You wouldn’t believe how they go about it…

What’s the best piece best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing? Apply seat of pants to seat of chair. As in, don’t wait for “inspiration.” Write every day and exercise that writing muscle.

What is your writing space like? I have a ridiculously large bedroom, so I use a corner of it for my writing space. I use a long, narrow table and prop my laptop up on the Canadian Encyclopedia. On the wall in front of me are small cork boards with various cards, sayings and photos that inspire me. From the vantage of my writing chair, I can see the roofs of the houses across the way, and above them, Haeckel Hill and its windmills.

Tell us about your latest piece? I’ve just published The Forsaken Man, the fifth in my Mendenhall Mystery series featuring Chief of Police Kate Williams and her intrepid band of constables. I’m not really sure how I ended up with a series. It started with The Shoeless Kidand I found that I really liked the characters of the small police detachment in Mendenhall, Manitoba. Technically, the series is a police procedural, but it is very much character driven and feels “cozy.”

What’s your next writing adventure? Right now, I’m working on my second A’lle Chronicles mystery. The first one, Backli’s Ford, introduced the reader to Constance A’lle:

In the early 1700s, an A’lle generation ship crashed in the woods of Lower Canada. Survivors stumbled out of the wreckage to find French settlers working the land. While many of the colonists sheltered the injured A’lle, some reacted with fear and loathing. Two centuries later, nothing much has changed.

This is the world Constance, first A’lle investigator for Lower Canada, must deal with when she investigates the beating death of an A’lle boy in the small village of Backli’s Ford.

Set in 1911, Backli’s Ford follows Constance as she survives an ambush that would have killed a human, fights prejudice in the constabulary, and discovers a terrible secret that risks destroying the delicate balance that has endured for two centuries between A’lle and humans.

The second book, tentatively titled Plague, follows Constance and her sister Gemma as they work to discover who is murdering A’lle, and try to prevent a smallpox epidemic.

What is the last book you’ve read? Glass Houses, by Louise Penny—one of my favourite mystery writers. Right now, I’m halfway through Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekbäck and while I’m getting a little freaked out, I can’t seem to put it down…

Are indie/self-published authors viewed with scepticism or wariness by readers? Why is this? I don’t think readers care if an author is indie published or traditionally published. As long as the cover is well designed and the story well written and well edited, why should they? Nobody buys their books based on who the publisher is. At least, I don’t.

Links:

Web: www.marcellemdube.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarcelleDube

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marcelle.dube.3

Bio:

Marcelle Dubé grew up near Montreal. After trying out a number of different provinces—not to mention Belgium—she settled in the Yukon, where people still outnumber carnivores, but not by much. Her novels are published by Falcon Ridge Publishing and Carina Press, and her short fiction has appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies. Learn more about her and her published work at http://www.marcellemdube.com.

The Tuxedoed Man appears in Winter Warmer Bundle

Tales of the Seasons – volume 1

Winter Warmer on Bundle Rabbit

Winter Warmer on Amazon

Winter Warmer on Nook

Winter Warmer on I-tunes

Winter Warmer on Kobo

Author Interview Number Ninety-Six – Nikki Andrews – Mystery

Welcome to Nikki Andrews

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005VW8J28

Where are you from and where do you live now? I was born in New Jersey a long time ago, but since then I’ve mostly lived inside my head.

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. My latest book, Framed, is a cozy mystery set in a New Hampshire art gallery. More books in that setting are in the works. I also dabble in sci-fi and just started a romantic thriller.

Where do you find inspiration? The world is so full of a number of things…Normal everyday life, with a twist.

Are your characters based on real people? Yes and no. I’ve used real people as a baseline for characters, but I blend in traits, habits, or idiosyncrasies from other people. So far, no real people have recognized themselves in my books.  

Have you ever used a person you don’t/didn’t like as a character then killed them off? Oh yeah! (rubs hands together) That’s part of the fun.

Research can be important in world-building, how much do you need to do for your books? Do you enjoy this aspect of creating a novel and what are your favourite resources? For Framed, I drew on my nine years as a picture framer, and did research into police procedures and messenger services. Like many writers, I’m a bit introverted, but I’m better at finding a person to talk to than I am at book/Google searches. And as I get older, I’ve gotten bolder at walking up to people who snag my interest. Once you get someone talking about their passion, it’s almost impossible to shut them up.

Is there a message conveyed within your writing?  Do you feel this is important in a book? Books that beat you over the head with a “message” bore and annoy me. Story first, always. There is a–let’s call it a theme–that runs through my books, but I’d rather let readers discover it for themselves, if they are so inclined.

In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these and if not, what is the reason? Framed is available as an ebook or print. Large print and audio would be lovely, and in my spare time I’m looking into it.

Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? I also work as an editor, and I’ve learned that no one can adequately self-edit. Every writer needs someone else to insist “this beloved passage adds nothing” or “you really need to expand that thought.” Even before I started thinking about becoming an editor, I used to mark up books where I thought changes would improve them. So yes, I think all books should be professionally edited.

What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot? A book is far more interactive than movies or games. Books allow, even demand, the reader’s participation in imagining the world and the characters described. Just as a for-instance, I had a very different image of Gollum than what Peter Jackson gave the world. Every time I open a book, I become a co-creator with the author. And that is far more exciting than watching a movie or playing a game.

What three pieces of advice would you give to new writers? Read widely, write daily, learn deeply.

Most authors like to read, what have you recently finished reading? Did you enjoy it? Just finished Ann Hillerman’s Spider Woman’s Daughter. I was pleasantly surprised and relieved to find she did an excellent job with her father’s characters, and I loved getting a feminine perspective on them. I’m curious to see what will happen if she goes on to create her own new characters and mysteries.

Can you name your favourite traditionally published author? And your favourite indie/self-published author? No, I couldn’t possibly name them. There are too many of each!

Can you name your worst job? Do you think you learned anything from the position that you now use in your writing?  I won’t name the company where I worked as an admin assistant, but that job from hell did provide a deliciously evil character that I managed to kill off three times in one book. Bwaa-ha-ha!

Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? I have been known to stand in front of the local planning board and make train noises at them.

Book links, website/blog and author links:

Website: http://www.nikkiandrewsbooks.com

Blog: www.scrivenersriver.blogspot.com

Twitter: @NAedits

Email: Nikki@nikkiandrewsbooks.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nikkiandrewsauthor

Print link: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=191&products_id=5515
                           

Author and Audio Book Producer – Lorna Collins

Today I welcome author and audiobook produce Lorna Collins.

My husband, Larry K. Collins, and I write both together and alone. After fifty years of marriage, we figured out how to do it.

We were both members of the team that helped to build the Universal Studios Japan theme park in Osaka. Our memoir of that experience, 31 Months in Japan: The Building of a Theme Park, was a 2006 EPPIE finalist and chosen one of Rebeccas Reads best nonfiction books.

We have also co-written two cozy mysteries set in Hawaii: Murder…They Wrote and Murder in Paradise, the latter a finalist for the EPIC eBook Award for mystery. We are currently working on more in the series. The Memory Keeper, is our historical novel set in San Juan Capistrano.

I co-authored six sweet romance anthologies set in the fictional town of Aspen Grove, CO: Snowflake Secrets, Seasons of Love, An Aspen Grove Christmas, The Art of Love, …And a Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe, and Directions of Love, 2011 EPIC eBook Award winner.

My fantasy/mystery/romance, Ghost Writer, launched Oak Tree Press’s Mystic Oaks imprint. It combines elements of fantasy, romance, and mystery. It’s a beach read with a dog, and a ghost.

In addition, I am a professional editor.

How did you become involved with audiobooks?

A friend and fellow author had one of his books made into an audiobook. I was very impressed with the result. When I looked into the details, I decided to see about our books recorded.

Tell us about your the titles you’ve had narrated. Do you have a favourite amongst these? 

Our first audiobook was Ghost Writer. This is my solo “beach read.” It was published by mid-level independent publisher. The contract with her did not include the audio rights. However, I checked with her to be sure I could convert it and also for permission to use the cover art. She was enthusiastic and said she’d hoped one of her authors would try audio.

I must confess my favorite to date, however, is The Memory Keeper. This is our historical novel set in the 1800s in San Juan Capistrano, California. The story is told in the voice of a Juaneño Indian. We spent nearly three years researching and writing this book, so we were very particular about how it would be presented. The voice actor we chose, Aaron Miller, was nearly as much of a perfectionist as we were. He struggled through the Indian words as well as the Spanish ones. (He was born in Wisconsin and now lives in Tennessee where Spanish is not a common language.) The final book perfectly captures the voice of our protagonist along with all of the other characters in the story.

We liked him so much, he is now creating the audiobook for Larry’s short story collection, Lakeview Park.

The gal who did Ghost Writer, Jean Ruda Habrukowich, is now doing one of the sweet romance anthologies I was part of, …And a Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe.

How did you choose your narrators?

For an author, the process is quite simple. I uploaded an audition text. I chose a section of each book with several characters so I could see how the actor would interpret their voices. For Ghost Writer, the narrator had to be female since the story is written in the POV of a young woman. However, the other major character is a very proper British ghost, who is male. I wanted to be sure the actor found the right tone of voice for both. Jean nailed it.

For The Memory Keeper, we needed a male voice. Aaron had me as soon as he pronounced San Juan Capistrano with just the right touch of Spanish accent. He also indicated he would work with us on getting all the voices and pronunciation correct. A few of the words (like alcalde, noshuun, and Elena) gave him problems, but in the end, the book sounds better than we could have hoped for.

Are you planning on having more books made into audio?

Yes. We can only do the ones for which we have the audio rights, so we are limited. For some of our fourteen titles, the publisher’s contract gives them the audio rights. However, Larry has written a sci-fi series, The McGregor Chronicles. So far he has two books published in the series with the third due out before the end of the year. As soon as Aaron finishes Lakeview Park, we’ll get him started on the sci-fi books.

We also would like to have our memoir, 31 Months in Japan: The Building of a Theme Park, done in audio. We have had a couple of auditions for it, but the people had no knowledge of Japanese, and one had a New York accent. We have helped several friends embark on the audio process, and one of them is currently using a husband and wife team for their book. We have spoken to them about their doing ours when the other one is finished. Since our memoir is written in two voices, this will be the perfect solution.

*Tell us about the ACX process.

This turned out to be much simpler than I had imagined. Our last few books have been published through KDP and CreateSpace, so I was familiar with those processes. Amazon now owns ACX, so they have made it much simpler for everyone involved.

  1. Make sure you have the audio rights for your book.
  2. Choose a chapter or section for the audio audition. This should be a short section with multiple characters. (We did not want to have our books read, we wanted them to be acted out.)
  3. Upload the book details. (ACX guides you through the process and links the book to its Amazon listing.)
  4. Upload the audition text.
  5. Wait for auditions.

Some books garner more auditions than others. Some genres attract more actors. Within two days of posting Lakeview Park, Larry had three auditions. Since one was from Aaron, we decided to stay with him. However, either of the other two would have been terrific.

During the actual recording, the author and actor are in communication. When the chapters are completed, the actor posts them to ACX. The author can then listen and send back comments or corrections.

When the entire book is completed, the actor closes the file and the author approves the book for publication. It appears on ACX and Amazon in about ten days to two weeks.

What aspects do you find most enjoyable?

We were fortunate to find two excellent actors for our books. Both of them were nearly as picky as I am! Both were willing to make as many changes/corrections as necessary to ensure a quality product.

Hearing our books read added a whole new dimension to them. We knew what we thought they should sound like, but the final interpretations were far better than we could have hoped for.

Did you choose royalty share for your books? Why is this?

Confession: I’m essentially cheap. We have done (and plan to do) all of our books with a royalty share agreement. It is a win-win for both author and voice artist. From the time the book is listed for sale, passive income is generated for both parties.

Do you listen to audiobooks?

Yes. I have listened to more of them since our books have become available. They are great for long car trips. Larry used to listen to the text-to-speech feature on his old Kindle on long commutes for work. The actual audiobooks are much more enjoyable.

*With many people owning MP3 players, do you think this is the future of storytelling?

I don’t think books—ebooks and print—will ever go away. But many people enjoy the listening process. We are at an age where many of our friends have developed vision issues, including macular degeneration. They can now enjoy our books.

Why do you think audio books are becoming so popular?

They are now much more accessible, and more people are commuting. In addition, the actors producing them are getting better and better. The sheer competition is improving the quality.

Did you consider producing your own audiobooks, or do you prefer to look for an independent narrator? Why have you made this choice?

We had talked for years about producing our own books—especially our memoir. But the cost of renting a studio and the time required to get the task done seemed daunting. We have been very fortunate to have found exceptionally good actors who understood our books.

Has ACX/Audible fulfilled your expectations? (such as earnings, ease of use, workload etc.?)

So far, it has exceeded our expectations. We had anticipated having to work with the actors, monitor the completed chapters, convey our expectations to them, and the process was very satisfying. Of course, we were blessed with terrific actors. It made all the difference.

Please tell us a silly fact about yourself.

My husband, Larry, says I collect friends like other people collect stamps or coins. Very true. I strike up friendships in the supermarket line. I’m still in touch with nearly all of my friends from childhood, grammar school, high school, college, and nearly every place I’ve ever worked. I actually know who every one of my 1500+ Facebook friends is and how we met.

Where can we learn more about you?

You can find out more about me at our website: http://www.lornalarry.com

Follow my blog at: http://lornacollins-author.blogspot.com/

Social Media links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lorna.l.collins

Twitter: @LornaCollins

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lkcollins75/

LinkedIn: Lorna Collins http://tinyurl.com/nunt9no